Pfizer considers sale of consumer healthcare business, including Centrum, Emergen-C

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Pfizer World Headquarters in Manhattan. Image: Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons
Pfizer World Headquarters in Manhattan. Image: Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons
Pfizer announced that it is “reviewing strategic alternatives” for its Consumer Healthcare business, the parent company of many iconic over-the-counter (OTC) brands from dietary supplements to personal care.

The review includes considerations for a full or partial separation of the Consumer Healthcare arm “through a spin-off, sale, or other transaction,”​ the company announced in a press release​ posted on its site yesterday.

Dietary supplement brands within this business arm include Centrum, Caltrate, and Emergen-C, which it acquired in 2012​.

According to a report by Reuters​, financial analysts expect the business unit to sell for about four times of sales, which is around $14 billion.

Ian Read, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said that there is potential for the business arm’s value to be more fully realized outside the company, which has a core business in biopharmaceuticals.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare has 2016 revenues of approximately $3.4 billion, making it one of the largest OTC health care product businesses in the world, operating in more than 90 countries.

The business unit has 10 brands with sales that exceeded $100 million in 2016, though Pfizer has not responded to requests for comment about whether any of the dietary supplement brands are included in this top 10. Other OTC brands in the unit are Advil, Robitussin, and ChapStick.

“Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is a leading player in the largest OTC categories, with iconic brands, robust retail partnerships, global reach and strong fundamentals,”​ Read said.

“By exploring strategic options, we can evaluate how best to fuel the future success and expansion of Consumer Healthcare while simultaneously unlocking potential value for our shareholders.”

Reuters reported that interested companies include Reckitt Benckiser, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, and possibly Nestle, as the food giant is “exploring the boundaries between food and healthcare.”

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